Phase 1: Shock
No. It can’t be… it’s just not happening. I thought I got here yesterday… where did the time go?
Honestly, I spent the last two weeks of my semester in denial that it was coming to an end. There’s really nothing that compares to spending four months studying abroad in a place like London. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s quite possibly the coolest place on Earth. It’s hard to sum up which parts I’m going to miss most about living there, but I’ll give it a go.
Ahh, the London Underground. “Mind the Gap”. Etched in London culture, you never really realize how impressive the London transportation system is until you try to get around other major cities. With trains running every 2-5 minutes, you’re never gonna wait long to get going. This means you’re able to go from one side of town to the other fairly easy. The tube system is mapped out on the wall of each tube car and very easy to learn. Compared to the NYC subway I was on last week, the London Underground is by far superior. It is just way more efficient, organized, cleaner, and easier to use.
The Lack of Boredom
London is the capital of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s most global cities. Because of this, and its large population, there was always something to do. Bored? Wander around the city. Find a concert to go to. Try a new restaurant/pub. The possibilities were truly endless. Now that I am home, I am really missing this cultural atmosphere. There is an excitement in the air in London, and it’s contagious. This energy helped inspire me to create new music, make new friends, and think outside of the box.
London was by far the most diverse place I have ever lived. In one day by riding the tube, you could hear anywhere from 4-10 different languages. There are many cultural populations represented in London that contribute to the different styles in each neighborhood. You are able to experience all of these different cultures at the same time in a way that isn’t possible in my hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This combination of different ideas made for an environment that helped push boundaries, change perceptions, and squash misconceptions.
One of the other things I miss deeply about London is the ease of travel to other European cities. The flights were always relatively cheap, and within two hours tops, you were able to reach a new city in a new region of Europe. In the United States, domestic flights at the same distance would cost twice as much.
Phase 2: Reflect
My time abroad in London was easily the best 4-month period of my 20 year old life. I got to experience living in a new country for the first time in my life. It was my first chance to leave North America, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to travel Europe. I was exposed to new ways of thinking that have changed my outlook on my career and life. To anyone considering studying abroad, do it. It will be the best choice of your college career.
This is Tucker, signing off after a legendary semester.
Thank you CAPA, Pitt Business, My Parents, Paul Tunkin, and everyone else that made this experience happen.